In today’s world of acronyms and hype, we are constantly bombarded by the next “revolutionary product that will change our lives and industry”. Multiple Times. Every. Single. Day. It’s certainly a difficult challenge for today’s CIOs, IT departments, business stakeholders and corporate boards. How do we get an edge over the competition? How do we pick a winner from amongst the noise?
How do we avoid failures?In today’s world of acronyms and hype, we are constantly bombarded by the next “revolutionary product that will change our lives and industry”. Multiple Times. Every. Single. Day.
It’s certainly a difficult challenge for today’s CIOs, IT departments, business stakeholders and corporate boards. How do we get an edge over the competition? How do we pick a winner from amongst the noise? How do we avoid failures?
It’s certainly a challenge that I personally face regularly in our business as CTO as we look at tools and technologies that can help improve the efficiency, quality, and productivity of our global team, and potentially providing us an edge against our competitors.
There are technologies and products that can demo very sharply. And yes, some of these products will go on to succeed and provide a lot of value for companies. Often though, when looking at the myriad of solutions available you likely find yourself asking the same questions, Do they have any substance? Are they ready for the real world? What are the hidden barriers? How do they going to help us?
Will they (really) work?
Let’s put one of these shiny revolutionary products onto a real construction site. Tomorrow. With men and women who live and breathe construction, day in, day out, that want to get on with their job. Would this technology work? The sad reality is many will simply fizzle out.
Why don’t some solutions work?
There is an age-old saying, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. Too often people stumble upon a tool, call it a hammer, then go in search of a nail. Instead of starting with the hammer (the solution), thought leaders should be starting with the nail (the problem) and asking “what the right tool is to hit this nail with”, which may, or may not, be a hammer.
Maybe it works, but how well?
Maybe there is technology that is being used on your construction sites today that is causing you to get left behind? It could be cumbersome to use, have limited functionality, not be designed to be used on mobile devices, slow, unreliable or maybe it simply doesn’t align with your modern vision for unified management reporting and visibility across the company.
So, what do you need?
Consider the diverse range of people on a construction site, for some English isn’t their first language, for others they didn’t grow up around computers and smartphones, maybe they don’t even have a smartphone or an email address. For others at the other end of the spectrum, they grew up with smartphones and spend their weekends coding for fun.
Consider the normal operating rhythm and tasks on a construction site, things like the morning pre-start meetings, reviewing and signing off JHAs/SWMS, safety walks, crane lifts, concrete pours, and hot works.
Finally, consider management. You need to ensure compliance and adherence to your existing standardised processes and systems. You need to monitor site activity. You likely have other systems in your business, you need to combine data to unify your dashboards and key metrics.
Ultimately – you need to ensure that technology is usable across the daily tasks on a construction site, by everyone. You need to ensure compliance with industry standards and company policies, but at the same time not putting barriers in people’s way of doing their job.
A tough decision
That brings us to the key questions that CIOs and decision makers should be asking. “What are OUR problems?” “What are OUR pain points?”
Are we ready?
The construction industry has been traditionally regarded by many as a dinosaur with regards to technology adoption. Many assumed that this was due to a reluctance of people within the construction industry to adopt technology. This is naïve. It overlooks a far simpler and more reasonable explanation, that many technology solutions simply weren’t quite right or ready for construction.
James Harris, Co-Founder & CTO HammerTech
In an age where innovation is occurring at a breakneck pace, I understand that first and foremost – performance, reliability and security are still the core foundations of any successful product.
ring at a breakneck pace, I understand that first and foremost – performance, reliability and security are still the core foundations of any successful product.
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